Swag update: new items added to the NCRA Merchandise Shop

A number of new items have been added to the NCRA Merchandise Shop including adult and youth-size face masks that can be customized with the NCRA, NCRF, or several newly designed logos.

“What better way to support your national association and show your pride in your profession than by sporting a customized face mask while staying safe during these trying times,” said Cynthia Bruce Andrews, NCRA Senior Director of Education and Certification.

“Since NCRA launched the merchandise shop, response from members has been very positive. Members are purchasing an array of items and have shared with us how much they like the quality of the products and the ease of customizing and ordering. Plus, the free shipping and easy return policy have won kudos from NCRA members who have shopped in the merchandise store,” she added.

Newly released accessories include a bandana, ankle socks, an iPhone case, a fanny pack, a carry-all pouch, and a lunch box. For men, new items include a premium T-shirt, a premium tank top, and a moisture wicking performance T-shirt. In the women’s aisle, check out the newly added premium tank top and T-shirt dress.

In addition to the new logo designs for the facemasks, other available designs include official logos for NCRA, NCRF, NCRA STRONG, DiscoverSteno, I Love Steno, certification logos, and more. Spreadshirt, the online company that supports the NCRA Merchandise Shop, takes care of the customization and ships directly to the customer. The company also offers customers an easy exchange and return policy.

Currently available items already include a variety of styles of men’s and women’s T-shirts, polos, casual tops, a baseball hat, coffee and travel mugs, a mouse pad, and a canvas backpack.

Members who purchase items from Spreadshirt are supporting their national organization’s programs and scholarships while showing off the pride they have in being members of NCRA. 

Be sure to frequently check the NCRA Marketplace on NCRA’s home page to see what’s new in the NCRA Merchandise Shop; new items are continually being added. NCRA will also announce new items and merchandise during special events. NCRA members can also take advantage of special sales such as free shipping and more.

Help advertise the NCRA Merchandise Shop. NCRA members who purchase items are encouraged to share photos of themselves sporting their swag. You might just get featured on the store site or in other marketing materials. Send your photos to pr@ncra.org. Happy shopping!

Register now for the May NCRA Town Hall

Register now for the next virtual NCRA Town Hall, scheduled for Saturday, May 30, at 10 a.m. (Eastern) with NCRA President Max Curry, RPR, CRI. Conversation will include the success of NCRA’s May Celebrate Certification MonthStenopalooza event, and an update on the latest stimulus bill and how it could benefit members. Curry will also provide an update about the 2020 NCRA Conference & Expo and share with members what the Board has been doing to help the Association get through the COVID-19 crisis, including the recovery that is beginning as some businesses and courts begin to reopen.

The NCRA virtual Town Hall meetings also offer members the opportunity to ask questions via the Q&A feature. Members can also catch up on previous Town Halls by clicking here. Only NCRA Members may attend the Town Halls. Why wait? Register now!

Highlight your business and save in our new digital NCRA Sourcebook

The extended May 15 deadline is approaching fast for submitting Business Directory listings or display advertisements for inclusion in the NCRA Sourcebook.

Due to the changing business environment from COVID-19, the 2020-2021 NCRA Sourcebook will be a digital version, which will include clickable links to make connecting even easier. Having all the NCRA Sourcebook information available digitally will make it even easier to share with new audiences. The NCRA public relations team will be sharing the NCRA Sourcebook link to legal trades, national legal publications, and groups that support paralegals and others in the legal profession.

All members are listed in this directory free. Members can choose to list themselves in other CBSA (core-based statistical area) locations for only $99. Also exclusive to NCRA members is the opportunity to advertise in the Business Directory section of the NCRA Sourcebook.

“We want our ads to be accessible and affordable for all members,” said NCRA Director of Membership Natalie Dippenaar. “We understand that in this time of uncertainty, it is hard to make the decision to spend money on advertising. By pricing these ads at cost, we can offer as many members as possible the opportunity to invest in their businesses and their future.”

These ad specials are available until May 15:

The premium business listing in the Business Directory is marked down from $250 to $100. Advertisers who opt for a premium listing in the NCRA Sourcebook will be listed alphabetically by state and CBSA. Premium listings include the company’s name, address, email address, website, and a description about the services they offer. Premium listings are in black and white for a cost of $100. For an additional cost, firms can also be listed under additional cities and states.

Box listings in the Business Directory are marked down from $395 to $225. Alternatively, NCRA members may upgrade their business listing to a box listing. In addition to including everything in a premium listing, a box listing allows a logo or photo, the option to list under multiple cities, and the option to use an original design or JCR court reporting listing advertisement. Box listings are available in color. This option is now only $225.

Member listings for additional CBSA locations are $99. All NCRA members are listed once in their primary CBSA location, and members who serve larger regions may want to choose to be listed in a second location. For example, a person who works in Baltimore, Md., may want to also be listed for Washington, D.C., if the person finds work in both locations. 

Display advertising ranging from one-sixth of a page to a full page is also available through May 15.

For more information about placing your ad and showcasing your business, download the NCRA 2020 Media Kit or email NCRA Development Relations Manager Jill Parker Landsman at jlandsman@ncra.org.

Celebrate Certification Month with savings

Kimberly Falgiani, RDR, CRR, CRC

Celebrate your pride in your certification and save on swag during NCRA’s 2020 Celebrate Certification Month. Take advantage of 15 percent off all customized items on May 7 and 8 in the NCRA Merchandise Store.

Choose from a variety of items such as clothing, accessories, gifts, and more, and customize them with your favorite NCRA, NCRF, I Love Steno, NCRA STRONG, or official certification logos.

“Navigating the store is easy. At first I looked at all the designs and the new products that are available. Then, I went back a day later and picked a design and made a choice of what I wanted to purchase,” said Kimberly Falgiani, RDR, CRR, CRC, a captioner from Warren, Ohio, who recently purchased a customized polo shirt and coffee mug from NCRA’s online merchandise store.  

“When it comes to customizing, the way the site is laid out, you don’t really have to do much. If you choose a design before proceeding, that design shows up on the product to be previewed, so it’s simple. You may customize, though, on whatever you choose,” she added.

Falgiani said that she received an immediate email confirming her order was placed, shipping was timely, and the items arrived in great shape. She also said the polo shirt she ordered was pretty true to size and was of the quality she had expected. She also noted that the coffee mug is sturdy and that running it through the dishwasher has not affected the colors of the logo at all.

“I saw some media about NCRA having a new merchandise store, so I took a look on the website at it. Go check it out! I was surprised at all the shirt styles and how easy it is to change around the logos on the different products,” she added.

The online company that provides the items and customization, Spreadshirt, takes care of processing the orders and ships goods directly to the consumer at no charge. The company also offers customers an easy exchange and return policy. Members who purchase items from the merchandise store are supporting their national organization’s programs and scholarships while showing off their NCRA pride. 

Be sure to check back to the NCRA Marketplace on the homepage to see what new items and merchandise are being offered. NCRA will also announce new items and merchandise during special events.

Help advertise the NCRA Merchandise Store. NCRA members who do purchase items are encouraged to share photos of themselves sporting their swag. You might just get featured on the store site or in other marketing materials. Send your photos to pr@ncra.org. Happy shopping!

Register now for the April NCRA Town Hall

Don’t miss out on the next virtual NCRA Town Hall, scheduled for Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. (Eastern). NCRA President Max Curry, RPR, CRI, will be joined by Director Cindy Isaacsen, RPR, an official court reporter from Shawnee, Kan. Conversation will include NCRA’s May Celebrate Certification Month, the upcoming Stenopalooza event, and latest on the impact of the coronavirus on businesses.

“My membership in NCRA is a priority for me because it shows my commitment to supporting my profession, it gives me access to so many educational and certification opportunities, and it reassures me that I’ve got an advocate in Washington, D.C., who has my back,” said Kimberly Falgiani, RDR, CRR, CRC, a captioner from Warren, Ohio. “But especially in these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the president’s Town Halls have given me added reassurance that my membership means I am receiving the most up-to-date information and resources that can benefit me and other members directly. For that, I am extremely appreciative and proud to be an NCRA member.”

The NCRA virtual Town Hall meetings also offer members the opportunity to ask questions via the Q&A feature. Members can also catch up on previous Town Halls by clicking here. Only NCRA Members may attend the Town Halls. Why wait? Register now!

Is your information for the 2020-2021 NCRA Sourcebook correct?

If you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s time to check your listing on NCRASourcebook.com.

If you have moved, started a new job, or just haven’t looked at the NCRASourcebook.com site recently, it’s time to review your NCRA Sourcebook profile.

NCRA provides NCRA Sourcebook to help lawyers, paralegals, court reporting and captioning firms, members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and other court reporters find NCRA members. Don’t be left out of these important resources. Update your profile today!

The deadline to update your information for the print edition of the NCRA Sourcebook is April 15. You can update your online NCRA Sourcebook listing anytime you have a change in circumstance.

  • Log on to NCRA.org using your NCRA ID# and your password. Forgot your password? Scroll down to the section “Need help signing in?” and follow the instructions.
  • Hover over your name and click on “My Profile” below your name.
  • Update your contact details.
  • Update any services you offer by clicking on “Manage My Services” at the bottom of the screen.
  • Click “Save” to update your contact details and services.
  • Click on “My NCRA,” then on “My Sourcebook Listings.” Click on the green “Edit” box to the left of your listing.
  • Update the details you want to appear in your NCRA Sourcebook listing and click on “Save.”

Please check your information under both “My Main Profile” and “My Sourcebook Listings.” The “My Sourcebook Listings” information is used for both the online and print NCRA Sourcebook.

If you wish to purchase additional member listings in the Member Directory, premium or box listings in the Business Directory, or display advertising for the print 2020-2021 NCRA Sourcebook, please contact jlandsman@ncra.org  by May 1.

A few last notes about updating your Sourcebook listings.

Your credentials can only be updated by NCRA staff, and state credentials are not listed in the NCRA Sourcebook. For accuracy and security purposes, we cannot accept verbal changes over the phone. If you have questions about your information, please email membership@ncra.org.

Natalie Dippenaar is  NCRA’s Director, Membership & IT. She can be reached at ndippenaar@ncra.org.

New online merchandise store lets members customize swag

Just in time for spring, NCRA members can now order a variety of swag thanks to Spreadshirt, an online platform that allows users to customize such items as clothing, accessories, gifts, and more.

Members can choose the items and the quantity they want to customize with official logos for NCRA, NCRF, NCRA STRONG, DiscoverSteno, I Love Steno, certification logos, and more. Spreadshirt takes care of the customization, processes the order, ships directly to the customer, and offers customers an easy exchange and return policy.

Current available items include a variety of styles of men’s and women’s T-shirts, polos, casual tops, a baseball hat, coffee and travel mugs, a mouse pad, and a canvas backpack.

Members who purchase items from Spreadshirt are supporting their national organization’s programs and scholarships while showing off the pride they have in being members of NCRA. 

“NCRA is excited to offer a variety of high-quality items at affordable prices to its membership through Spreadshirt,” said Cynthia Bruce Andrews, NCRA Senior Director of Education and Certification. “Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner, making it the perfect time to get your swag on with customized polos and T-shirts that show off the pride you have for your profession.”

Be sure to check back to the NCRA Marketplace frequently, as new items and merchandise are being continuously offered. NCRA will also announce new items and merchandise during special events. NCRA members can also take advantage of special sales such as free shipping and more.

Stay in the know: NCRA event updates, webinars, and more

The webinar is full!

As NCRA, like the rest of the world, continues to adjust to how daily life and the ability to conduct business is being impacted by the constant efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus, we encourage all members to be patient as your Board and staff reassess the status of scheduled and future planned events.

In light of the most recent recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and other federal health agencies that the public avoid large gatherings and practice social distancing, NCRA has opted to postpone and possibly reschedule all events that were planned through May, including the 2020 Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp that was scheduled for May 17-19 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Alexandria, Va. NCRA will be contacting those who have already registered for the event with information about the reimbursement of registration fees. Information about new dates for this event will be announced in the JCR Weekly and by emails to members at a future date.

NCRA has also canceled the spring CLVS hands-on training and production exam that was scheduled to take place March 27 and 28 at headquarters in Reston, Va. NCRA will hold the training and testing again in the fall with dates to be announced at a later date.

Members who have already booked flights to these and other events are advised to contact their airlines directly to find out more about cancellation and rescheduling procedures.

Staff liaisons will also be contacting members of NCRA committees who planned to attend meetings scheduled to take place at NCRA’s headquarters in Reston, Va. Options could include conducting those meetings via online conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Skype.

To learn more about these online conferencing platforms, NCRA Immediate Past President Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, and Director Keith Lemons, FAPR, RPR, CRR, are leading a special webinar Thursday, March 19.

The webinar is now full!

If you purchased the webinar, please check your email confirmation. Because of demand, there are now two sessions, one at 7 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. Once members or non-members register, they will be emailed a link to Zoom with information about how to sign into the meeting. We are trying to schedule additional sessions, and we will send out the information when we can. Thank you for your patience.

NCRA members are also encouraged to tune into the next NCRA Town Hall happening March 21 at 10 a.m. Eastern. Conversation will address the coronavirus and how reporters,  captioners, videographers, and associate members can empower and sustain themselves and their families through these rough waters we face as an industry, along with the rest of the world. The NCRA virtual Town Hall meetings also offer members the opportunity to ask questions via the Q&A feature. Questions can also be submitted in advance to lbutler@ncra.org. Register here.

Finally, NCRA members are encouraged to begin checking the Association’s website where the latest developments regarding the status of events, helpful webinars, and links to ensure the most current information is available and accessible about the constantly changing health landscape, will be posted. Watch for updates on the homepage of NCRA.org.

Message from NCRA President Max Curry

Our hearts go out to the individuals, businesses, and communities that have been affected by COVID-19 (or coronavirus). In response to the increasing number of cases and uncertainty domestically and around the world, I want to make you aware of the precautions NCRA is taking to protect the health and safety of our staff and their families and to ensure that your member services and benefits are not disrupted during these trying times.

We want you to know that NCRA has in place a staff that can work remotely efficiently and effectively thanks to the use of the cloud to store and access files. Staff is also able to remain in immediate contact with each other and their committees via such platforms as Zoom and Skype. As such, be assured that it is business as usual for NCRA and NCRF.

We are also following strict quarantine rules in alignment with the most up-to-date CDC guidance for employees (and those who have family members who live in their homes) who have been in contact with someone who has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19 and those who have traveled to high risk areas.

We are keeping up with the guidance of the World Health Organization, CDC, and state and local health authorities related to travel, quarantine, meetings, and events, and we are adjusting our guidance accordingly. We encourage each of you to do the same.

In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to monitor and reevaluate staff travel, visitors to the office, and upcoming meetings and events. For states that are hosting conventions and other events in the next several weeks and months, please contact Jocelynn Moore at jmoore@ncra.org to sign up for a special webinar NCRA Executive Director Dave Wenhold will be hosting in the near future. The webinar will address how to deal with some of the unintended challenges to the state associations regarding attendance, hotel attrition, etc., due to the coronavirus.

We are committed to staying connected with you and assisting you in any way we can through these unprecedented times. At the end of this email is a list of tips and resources to help you stay informed of the latest developments.

On behalf of your NCRA Board of Directors, NCRA staff, and myself, we wish you the best during this current health risk and urge you to please heed the advice of the experts to keep yourself, your family, your friends, your clients, and your community safe from this infectious virus. Please feel free to reach out to NCRA should you have additional questions or concerns.

We wish you and your loved ones the very best.

Max Curry, RPR, CRI

NCRA President

Additional resources

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) currently exists. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday precautionary actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Other valuable information

Recommended strategies for employers to use now

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Separate sick employees
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene by all employees
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning
  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel (CDC)

 Additional resources to check for the latest information about the coronavirus

2020 DSA nomination deadline nears

Nominations for the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor NCRA can bestow on a member, are due March 13. It recognizes the distinguished work and service by an individual member for the benefit of the court reporting profession. Do you know someone who has been involved in NCRA affairs on an extensive level, along with service to state and other reporting associations? Has this person been involved in public affairs and public relations or writing for association publications? If so, take time to nominate that person for this year’s DSA award. The recipient will be recognized at the NCRA Conference & Expo in Orlando in August.

2019 NCRA Distinguished Service Award Honoree Bruce Matthews
2019 NCRA Distinguished Service Award Honoree Bruce Matthews with NCRA Past President Sue Terry

“Due to the fact I started my career 47 years ago with the late, great Marty Fincun in Cleveland, I became immediately involved with the Ohio Shorthand Reporters Association and soon thereafter with NCRA. You might say I caught the bug of doing association work on committees, task forces, and eventually working as a board member,” said Bruce Matthews, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a retired court reporter from Lakewood, Ohio, who was honored with the award last year.

“When my name was called at last year’s convention as the 2019 Distinguished Service Award recipient, I felt my career, not only as a reporter, but as a volunteer, had finally been completed. It was a very humbling experience and one I’ll always remember. My award hangs in my living room with great pride. I see it every day,” Matthews added.

Voting members of NCRA or recognized court reporting associations can submit nominations. Nominations must include information supporting why the nominee should be considered. Finally, DSA candidates cannot be an active member of the DSA Committee or the NCRA Board of Directors and must be a Registered Member of NCRA in good standing or a Registered Retired Member or Registered Retired Lifetime Member who was a member in good standing upon retirement.

Eligible members of NCRA may submit nominations online at: NCRA.org/awards/dsa or by email to dsa@ncra.org.

The deadline for nominations for NCRA’s Distinguished Service Award is March 13. Don’t wait; nominate someone today!